Where are the female chanters?

Takudzwa Chihambakwe
ONE unique factor about Zim dancehall is that it came with a lot of sizzling female acts.

These ladies were so good that some male artistes stood no chance at big shows when promoters picked their acts.

Names such as Lady B, Bounty Lisa, Lady Squanda, Empress Fynna, Lipsy, Empress Shelly, Juwela and DaRuler were popular at most dancehall shows held in the country.

Fans loved them just as much as their male counterparts.

Indeed, they had their movement going but sadly, towards the end of 2015 the script changed. There are no female dancehall artistes to talk about anymore, or so it appears.

The league of gentlemen spearheaded by the likes of Kinnah, Guspy Warrior, Killer T, Soul Jah Love, Seh Calaz and Winky D are hogging the limelight.

However, despite all the changes, the ladies are still working hard in the background and are threatening to come back bigger and better.

One such act is Mildred Munyikwa aka Lindsay. The rising chanter, who is soon set to drop a singles collection and an album plus videos, is planning to take over the scene this summer.

“We are working tirelessly in the studio to get quality music out to our fans,” said her manager, Stanford Joni.

“We have a ready for release 18-track singles collection and we have a lot of new material that is on the way. We are also working on Lindsay’s debut album, which will be out end of this year.”

He highlighted that they have engaged the services of the best producers in the game to ensure that their product is palatable.

“We have engaged the services of the best and award-winning producers such as Levels and PTK. We have also done a number of collaborations with Tryson Chimbetu, Jah Signal, PTK and Kinnah, just to give a unique feel to our music,” revealed Joni.

Besides working on her own music, Joni said they have ensured that Lindsay is featured on most riddims so that dancehall fans familiarise with her voice.

Among a plethora of challenges faced by artistes everyday, Joni said Lindsay, just like other female acts, suffers from social perceptions and funding issues.

“Wherever we go, producers, promoters and even radio DJs ask for sexual favours for our music to get played on radio, for us to get free recordings and for the artiste’s face to appear on posters regularly.

“Finding support at home is usually the biggest drawback because some family members don’t want the girl child to sing as they fear victimisation,” said Joni.

Nonetheless, Lindsay believes she has what it takes to survive in the industry and compete with her male counterparts.

“I have the voice, which is my biggest asset. I have the mindset and I can come up with catchy and mature lyrics. I can sing well in front of huge crowds and I consider myself a force to reckon with.

“As a female personality and performer, if you can perform at City Sports Centre in August during the Cup Clash, then you can perform anywhere in the world because that is the most hostile crowd one can ever face. All main Zim dancehall performers were birthed through that platform. I recently did that and I think I’m ready for the big time.”

She insisted that she will not get romantically involved with anyone to make it to the top, saying she will wait for her opportunity to come.

“When it comes to being included at big gigs, it has become one of my greatest challenges because I have remained strict, handidanane nemunhu kuti ndiwane show (I won’t get into any romantic affair in order to get a gig). Very soon my fans will start demanding my presence at all the shows, I know I have their support,” raved Lindsay.

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